ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz should not be allowed to go abroad and the government should oppose her travelling abroad, said a close aide to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development while talking to a select group of journalists said that the government should be ready to file an appeal even if the court grants permission to the daughter of former prime minister to go abroad.

“Earlier in the cabinet, I had opposed the proposal sending former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to go abroad,” said Bukhari, who is popularly known as Zulfi Bukhari, while sitting in his spacious office at the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis.

He added that the consensus decision had prevailed at that time. In December last year, Maryam had approached the Lahore High Court seeking removal of her name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

She is seeking one time permission to travel abroad to inquire after his ailing father who has to undergo medical procedures while staying in London.

PM’s Special Assistant says FIA yet to present any report on wheat and sugar shortage to Prime Minister

In August 2018, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had placed in her name on ECL in connection with Al Azizia Steel Mills reference filed against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and her by the National Accountability Bureau. In January this year, she was placed on the no-fly list for the second time in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

Maryam, this week, broke four-month long silence sine her release on bail in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case in November 2019 and said that she wanted to be in London when her father was going through a major heart procedure. “I am sure he (my father) wants all his children to be with him. I don’t think this should be politicised.”

Zulfi Bukhari said that the investigations of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on wheat and sugar shortage in the country had not yet completed. “FIA has not submitted any report with the Prime Minister Office,” he said adding that the premier had shown his firm resolve that anyone, irrespective of his affiliations, responsible for this crisis would be taken to task.

About the exclusion of senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Traeen from the government committee that was formed to hold talks with the disgruntled allies, he said that it was the decision of the prime minister.

Perhaps PM wanted Tareen to utilise his energies to some other important tasks, he added.

Syed Zulfi Bukhari said that his ministry had decided to establish first-ever court in Islamabad to hear and settle property related disputes of overseas Pakistanis on fast track. “We will move a summary to get formal approval from the cabinet and then a bill seeking to establish such a court would be moved in the parliament,” he said.

He said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan was giving top property to tourism sector and they had decide to lease out major state-owned hotels and guest houses to reputed firms on a lease of 30 years to boost up tourism in the country.

“Earlier these installations were given on a short lease of four to five years and no company invests for such a short period of time.”

Zulfi Bukhari further said that he had decided to increase EOBI (Employees’ Old-Age Benefit Institution) pension for workers and it would be made at par with the minimum wages set by any government. For this purpose, we will not take additional funds from the government but would generate funds from our own resources, he concluded.